In 1772 England, Lady Keturah Banning Tomlinson and her sisters find themselves the heiresses of their father’s estates and know they have one option: Go to the West Indies to save what is left of their heritage.
Although it flies against all the conventions for women of the time, they’re determined to make their own way in the world. But once they arrive in the Caribbean, proper gender roles are the least of their concerns. On the infamous island of Nevis, the sisters discover the legacy of the legendary sugar barons has vastly declined–and that’s just the start of what their eyes are opened to in this unfamiliar world.
Keturah never intends to put herself at the mercy of a man again, but every man on the island seems to be trying to win her hand and, with it, the ownership of her plantation. She could desperately use an ally, but even an unexpected reunion with a childhood friend leaves her questioning his motives.
Set on keeping her family together and saving her father’s once-great plantation, can Keturah ever surrender her stubbornness and guarded heart to God and find the healing and love awaiting her?
This was an interesting book. I enjoyed the defiant independence that each of the Banning girls embodied, and I enjoyed reading more about the difficulties of owning a sugar plantation (often times they are just casually mentioned as an easy source of money). The Bergren did a good job using historically accurate language, which I greatly appreciated, and overall accurately represented the era. The plot was engaging, and it was an enjoyable read.
Overall, I only had a few issues with this book. First of all, I felt like there was too much physical attraction between Ket and Gray. Not that there shouldn’t be any, but I feel like when done in excess it only works as a cop out for characterization. As the reader you end up loving the characters because they are attractive rather than for who they are. Plus it adds a melodramatic element, and made me roll my eyes quite frequently (of course that wave just happened to rock the boat in a way that made Ket fall against Gray, causing him to catch her). Just my personal opinion. Going off of this, I feel like the characters could have been more unique. I felt like Gray and Keturah especially filled the same role as every other couple in historical fiction romance novels. There wasn’t really anything that made them unique to me. (On this note, however, when Gray was initially introduced I thoroughly expected him to be a Mr. Collins figure, which he obviously was not, so that was a pleasant surprise)
Overall, it was interesting and engaging, and I look forward to reading the rest of the series.
I received a copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for my honest review.